Bodiesandearth

Crafting Vodka for our Bodies and our Planet – Part 1

This is the first of two articles that explore the duelling movements which are revolutionising the way we grow, buy and prepare our food – and also our drink. Food movements are often discussed in popular media, drink movements less so. Overall, the scale of agricultural production and food retail has increased; meanwhile, there has also been international support for food movements that prioritise the scaling down of food production. Locally produced, organic, Slow Food and a return to traditional plant varieties and production techniques are but a few examples of movements that oppose industrial large-scale production. While these food movements are now very familiar to us, these same trends have gone largely unnoticed in the production of alcoholic beverages.

Perhaps drink trends are less often considered because we have a different relationship with food than with alcohol; food is a necessity that we depend upon for survival, so we place greater attention upon our daily sustenance. As caretakers of our children, we feel responsible for the food choices that we make for them in order that they grow up healthily. Perhaps, alcohol is also considered as an indulgence, and as such we are more inclined to turn a blind eye to its contents. While these are valid reasons for scrutinising the food that we eat, the fact remains that both our food and drink choices have an impact on the health of our bodies, our communities, and on our planet.

“While these food movements are now very familiar to us, these same trends have gone largely unnoticed in the production of alcoholic beverages.”

Movements that scale down food and drink production are not only reshaping producer-consumer relationships in the drink sector but are also transforming the quality and flavours of distilled spirits. Because of the care and attention that is being placed upon ingredient sourcing and selection, distillation techniques and production processes, a quality of alcohol is being created that was not previously possibly. This care is reflected in the final flavour and mouth-feel of crafted spirits, where even subtle changes in terroir can be discerned. In the case of vodka, these flavour factors have been traditionally filtered out, however, a new artisan approach to vodka production embraces and highlights these subtleties, bucking the trend towards ultra-filtration.

While the fallacy that “all vodkas taste the same” is still a stubbornly accepted tenet, there is growing awareness of the turn towards small-scale craft distillation; connoisseurs are waking up to just how vast the difference is between vodkas produced in bulk quantities and those of small batch craft production. This rise in quality means that vodka is increasingly being sipped, rather than shot or mixed, as one might drink a dry sherry, whiskey or sake. The flavour notes in craft vodka are bright and vibrant, the warmth of the alcohol is smooth and even, and the effect of the spirit is invigorating without discomfort.

Chopin vodka is a small-batch producer of artisan craft vodkas. We chose to produce our vodkas this way because we believe that the things we place into our bodies are significant for our health as well as our pleasure. We believe that small-scale, successful businesses create meaningful jobs that support our communities and generate a sense of pride among the people who live there – we are proud of our farmers and our employees, and we believe that they are proud of us. We believe that that ways we grow and produce food have an impact on our beautiful planet – we are caretakers of the earth and we chose to work in ways that improve its wellbeing. And we believe that the flavours of our vodkas are distinctive, of the highest possible quality, and we are proud to share them with you.

  • summer-solstice-1

    Summer Solstice

    Ingredients

    • 2 oz. Chopin Wheat Vodka
    • 2 oz. Mango juice
    • 4 oz. Soda
    • Squeeze of lime

    Method

    Combine all ingredients except club soda in a shaker. Shake well and strain into a tall glass.
    Add ice and top with club soda.

  • 16Hot Chocolate 2 square crop

    Hot Chocolate

    Ingredients

    • 6 oz. Whole milk
    • 2 oz. 70% Cacao chocolate, chopped or grated
    • 2 oz. Dorda Double Chocolate Liqueur
    • 1 oz. Cream
    • Pinch of cinnamon
    • Pinch of salt
    • Whipped cream

    Method

    Warm the milk over medium heat and add the chopped chocolate, stirring constantly until melted. When smooth, whisk in the remaining milk and cream. Add a pinch of cinnamon and salt and heat until hot but do not allow to boil. Remove from heat and stir in the Dorda Liqueur. Serve with marshmallows or a dollop of unsweetened, chilled whipped cream.

  • 15 Polish Coffee 2 square crop (1)

    Polish Coffee

    Ingredients

    • 3 oz. Brewed coffee
    • 1 ½ oz. Dorda Double Chocolate Liqueur
    • Whipped cream

    Method

    Stir freshly brewed hot coffee together with Dorda Double Chocolate Liqueur in a glass mug. Top with freshly whipped cream. Add garnishes as desired; we like cacao nibs, chocolate-covered espresso beans or shaved chocolate.

  • 14 Dorda Truffle

    Dorda Truffle

    Ingredients

    • 2 oz. Dorda Double Chocolate Liqueur
    • 1 oz. Cointreau

    Method

    Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake vigorously. Strain and pour into a chilled cocktail glass of your choice, over fresh ice.

  • 13 FullSizeRender 6

    Dorda Double Chocolate Liqueur Neat

    Ingredients

    • 1 ½ oz. Dorda Double Chocolate Liqueur
    • Raspberries, to garnish

    Method

    We believe Dorda is best enjoyed like a dessert. Serve it neat, or shaken with ice, in a stemmed glass. Garnish with a fresh raspberry.

    Dorda Double Chocolate Liqueur is made with real chocolate, so always shake well before serving and store it at room temperature.

  • 11 Potato baltic cooler

    Mint-Lime Sparkler

    Ingredients

    • 2 oz. Chopin Wheat Vodka
    • 1 oz. Fresh lime juice
    • ¾ oz. Simple syrup
    • 3 Slices of cucumber
    • 5 Mint sprigs
    • Club soda

    Method

    Muddle cucumber in a mixing glass. Add mint, muddle gently. Add vodka, lime juice, simple syrup and ice. Shake well, strain into a highball glass. Top with club soda.

  • 10 Wheat Ginger Mule

    Ginger Mule

    Ingredients

    • 2 oz. Chopin Wheat Vodka
    • ½ oz. Fresh lime juice
    • 3 oz. Ginger beer

    Method

    In a cocktail shaker ¾ filled with ice, combine vodka and lime juice and shake until chilled, about 15 seconds. Strain into a copper mug, filled with crushed ice. Top with ginger beer. Garnish with lime and mint.

  • 9 Wheat with cucumber

    Chopin Wheat on the Rocks

    Ingredients

    • 1 ½ oz. Chopin Wheat Vodka
    • Cucumber (ribbons or wheels)

    Method

    Pour Chopin Wheat over ice into a rocks glass. Garnish with cucumbers.

  • 8 Rye basil gimlet

    Basil Gimlet

    Ingredients

    • 2 ½ oz. Chopin Rye Vodka
    • 6 Fresh basil leaves (torn into strips)
    • ½ oz.  Fresh lime juice
    • Lime zest
    • ½ oz. Simple syrup

    Method

    Muddle basil, lime juice, lime zest, and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Let sit for 5 minutes to allow the liquid to infuse with the basil flavor. Add the vodka, then fill the shaker ²/₃ with ice. Cover and shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish.

  • 7 Rye Bitter Sweet

    Chopin Bitter-Sweet

    Ingredients

    • 2 oz. Chopin Rye Vodka
    • ½ oz. Grapefruit juice
    • ½ oz. Grenadine
    • ½ oz. Campari

    Method

    Combine all ingredients in an ice-filled shaker, shake vigorously, strain into rocks glass over ice. Garnish with grapefruit slice.

  • 6 Rye Bloody Mary

    Bloody Mary

    Ingredients

    • 6 oz. Bloody Mary mix (we love McClure’s and Motherlode Provisions)
    • 1 oz. Chopin Rye Vodka

    Method

    Fill a Collins glass with ice. Pour Chopin Rye then Bloody Mary mix into glass. Stir then finish with fresh cracked pepper and garnish to your taste.

  • 5 Rye with pepper olives

    Chopin Rye on the Rocks

    Ingredients

    • 1 ½ oz. Chopin Rye Vodka
    • Olives stuffed with hot peppers

    Method

    Pour Chopin Rye over ice into a rocks glass. Garnish with pepper-stuffed olives.

  • 3 Potato and rosemary

    Rosemary & Potato Martini

    Ingredients

    • 2 ½ oz. Chopin Potato Vodka
    • ½ oz. Dry Vermouth
    • 1 Bar spoon green olive juice
    • 3-4 Drops of high quality, fruity olive oil
    • Rosemary sprig and 1 green olive

    Method

    Fill a mixing glass ¾ with ice, add Chopin, vermouth, and olive juice. Using a bar spoon, stir for 30 seconds. Strain the martini into a chilled cocktail glass. Finish with a few drops of olive oil. Garnish with rosemary sprig and olive.

  • 2 Potato Dirty Martini

    Dirty Martini

    Ingredients

    • 2 ½ oz. Chopin Potato Vodka
    • ½ oz. Green olive brine
    • Olives freshly stuffed with bleu cheese (or soft cheese of your choice)

    Method

    Add all the ingredients to a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with three olives.

  • 1 Potato with blue cheese olivesChopin Potato on the Rocks

    Ingredients

    • 1 ½ oz. Chopin Potato Vodka
    • Olives freshly stuffed with bleu cheese (or soft cheese of your choice)

    Method

    Pour Chopin Potato over ice into a rocks glass. Garnish with bleu cheese olives.

  • 4 Potato sipping

    Chopin Potato Neat

    Ingredients

    • 1 oz. Chopin Potato Vodka
    • Snifter, Cordial or Cognac glass

    Method

    To fully experience Chopin Potato’s nuanced flavors, it is best served neat in a stemmed snifter glass.